Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital will close in late April, eliminating about 150 jobs.
Cook Children’s Healthcare Systems announced that the hospital will close on April 20 and reopen on May 1 as an ambulatory surgical center. The change is because the hospital, at 6316 Precinct Line Road, no longer meets federal guidelines for the average number of patients staying overnight.
The board that oversees the hospital chose to convert the license to a surgical center, and the facility will be renamed Cook Children’s Surgery Center.
Once the hospital closes, emergency services and in-patient care will no longer be offered there. The hospital opened in 2001.
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Winifred King, a spokeswoman for Cook Children’s, said that the stricter guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid were a “surprise to hospital officials.”
“We did not anticipate this change occurring,” King said in an email to the Star-Telegram.
In 2017, there were 25 in-patient cases, 3,587 surgical cases, 7,157 imaging cases, 25,806 urgent care visits and 5,717 emergency visits to the hospital.
The average in-patient daily census for 2017 was .001 and in 2018 the average is zero.
The new guidelines call for an average daily census of 2, King said.
“With this information, it was clear to us we needed to make some difficult decisions in order to continue to provide quality medical service to that community,” she said.
As for the people losing their jobs, King said that those who are qualified for open positions at other Cook Children’s facilities “are strongly encouraged to apply and are being given every consideration.”